Joint Statement
of the Crown Prince
of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan,
Prince El Hassan Bin Talal
and the Prime Minister of Israel, Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu

March 10, 1998

The Crown Prince of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Prince El Hassan Bin Talal, met in Tel-Aviv, Israel, with the Prime Minister of Israel, Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu, on Tuesday, March 10, 1998.

The Crown Prince and the Prime Minister discussed a wide range of bilateral and regional issues, and noted with satisfaction the continuation of their dialogue, as well as the one taking place between the two states. They emphasized the need for continued constructive dialogue on matters of mutual concern, in order to build and strengthen peace bilaterally and regionally.

The two leaders emphasized the need to reinvigorate the peace process in all bilateral tracks and multilateral working groups. They underlined the need to achieve tangible progress by implementing agreements reached between Israel and the Palestinians, and to set the stage for a lasting and just peace between them. They also commended the historic role played by the United States in this regard.

The Crown Prince and the Prime Minister agreed that comprehensive peace requires the resumption of multilateral negotiations in all five working groups as well as the Steering Committee. They also expressed their wish to see the building of regional institutions which have been agreed upon. They paid special attention to the MENA economic conferences and to the Barcelona Process. In this regard they expressed appreciation for the European Barcelona initiative and their desire for concrete and constructive results at the next meeting in Palermo, Italy, in June 1998. The two sides reiterated the need to attain equal progress in the three baskets of the Barcelona Process, i.e. the political and security basket; the economic and financial basket; and the social, cultural and human basket.

The Crown Prince and the Prime Minister noted with satisfaction the results of the visits to Jordan of Israel’s Ministers of National Infrastructure, Mr. Ariel Sharon, and of Industry and Trade, Mr. Natan Sharansky, on March 8 and 9, 1998, respectively.

The following understandings were reached during those two visits:

A. WATER AND INFRASTRUCTURE:

  1. Both sides agreed to expand cooperation and mutual assistance for better utilization of water resources, including the improvement of storage facilities, in accordance with the Peace Treaty.
  2. Recognizing the importance of cooperation in the field of energy, the two sides have agreed to the following:

    (a) To accelerate the connection of the electricity grid in the Aqaba-Eilat region.

    (b) To hold a meeting this May to discuss Independent Power Projects and related initiatives.

    (c) To co-develop solar and wind energy projects.

  3. Convinced of the importance of local, regional and international tourism, the two parties agreed to explore the possibilities of joint development of tourist projects in the Um Qais (Hamat Gader) area and in the Wadi Araba area along the "Spice Route".
  4. The two sides expressed their support for pursuing the idea of the Red Sea – Dead Sea Canal (RSDSC), subject to the positive analysis of the international financial institutions as to the economic feasibility of the project.

B. ECONONC AND TRADE RELATIONS:

  1. In recognition of their mutual desire to expand bilateral economic and trade relations, the two sides will continue to positively review their current agreements and will strive to reach new ones.
  2. With the aim of removing non-tariff barriers to their trade, the two sides signed a mutual recognition agreement between their national standards institutions. They will soon exchange letters of accreditation between their laboratories.
  3. Israel announced the establishment of a 100 million U.S. dollar facility, through its Government’s credit insurance agency, the Israeli Foreign Trade Risk Insurance Corporation (IFTRIC). The facility is designed to promote joint ventures and other economic activities in Jordan.
  4. The two sides expressed their gratitude to the U.S. for the agreement to grant duty-free treatment to joint ventures’ production in the qualifying industrial zone in Jordan. They agreed to establish a bilateral committee to approve the qualified joint ventures.
  5. The two sides will jointly approach the European Union urging it to recognize cumulation of origin between Jordan and Israel so as to grant duty-free entry to products of cumulative Jordanian-Israeli origin. The two sides will establish a joint bilateral committee to harmonize their rules of origin and relevant administrative and customs procedures.
  6. The two sides recognize the importance of developing and expanding trade between Jordan, the PA and Israel. In this context, they note the following:

    (a) The three Ministers of Industry and Trade of Jordan, Israel and the P.A. will meet soon to discuss issues of mutual interest and concern.

    (b) Israel approves in principle the expansion of the lists attached to the economic agreement with the P.A. pertaining to the trade between the P.A., Jordan and Egypt, by including a substantial part of the list of goods recently submitted by the P.A. to Israel. Details of such an expansion will be worked out between the P.A. and Israel in their Joint Economic ComnAtte.

    (c) The two sides fully support the rebuilding of the King Hussein (Allenby) Bridge. Japan’s contribution in this regard is highly appreciated.

C. TRANSPORTATION:

  1. Israel has informed Jordan of its Government’s decision of March 1, 1998, concerning the joint Aqaba-Eilat Airport which included increasing the number of the diverted international flights from Eilat to the joint Airport. The two sides have reiterated their support for this bilateral joint venture.
  2. Jordan and Israel have expressed their support for the construction of a railway link between the Dead Sea and the Red Sea for their mutual benefit. It was also agreed to establish a link between the Jordanian railway system and Israel in the area of the Dead Sea.